Saturday, May 9, 2009
Denali - Caribou
Currently the Caribou are scattered throughout Denali.I have seen them as close as milepost 9, with more herds congregated down towards milepost 30. The above pictured bull with his beginning velvet spread was standing fairly close to the road, which has been rare occurrence.
Mostly what I see are groups of 4 to 18, moving and feeding in the river bottoms or valleys, like in the above images.
For those of you who do not know, Caribou are the only member of the deer family where both male and females grow antlers. Bulls have large and tall extending antlers and the cows have short skinny ones. The adult bulls shed their antlers in late October. Young bulls and non-pregnant cows do not shed their antlers until April. Pregnant females keep their antlers until the calves are born in late May or early June. To date, I have not seen any moose or caribou calves. The below image is of a bull with a radio telemetry collar.
Next post will be of some moose in velvet. I have some lynx and merlin photos ready to post as well.